Nigerians have dug out an interview Atiku Abubakar granted in September 2014. During the interactive session with journalists he had said that the APC is his last bus stop.
This morning the former vice president announced his resignation from the APC and Nigerians have gone to the archives to pull out his interview.
According to him in 2014, having defected from PDP to APC, he would not be leaving the party for any other one. Read excerpt from the interactive session below:
According to him, the period he has been out of power has given him the ample opportunity to study the challenges rocking the country and measures needed to solve the problems.
He said, “As I have already indicated, I will be offering myself as a candidate under the platform of my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“If anything, I want you to see me as a new Atiku. I was in government from 1999 to 2007 and I always thank my God that it did not continue. I have had a break. That break has enabled me to interact with ordinary Nigerians, listen to them and know what they want. Probably if I had continued and become the president, I wouldn’t have been the new Atiku that I am now.”
On inconsistency in political party membership, Atiku said it is the party that has been inconsistent with him.
“In the present dispensation I am not aware of anyone contesting that wants to give up on APC. I know Rabiu will not do so, General Muhammadu Buhari is not going to do that. As for me as far as I am concerned APC is my final bus stop.”
Atiku added that allegations of corruption levelled against him were the handiwork of his political adversaries bent on denting his image.
“I have not been charged for corruption; I am the most investigated Nigerian today. All these investigations revealed nothing, so it is a question of perception. I am capable of running a corruption free economy,” he assured.
“Corruption can always be tackled by deploying political will and building institutions to deal with it. No administration has done that in the country better than our administration”.
“We set up all the anti-corruption institutions to deal with corruption. They may not be perfect but the fact that we set up these institutions to deal with corruption is an effort we made to deal with the issue of corruption. During our period, more people were charged to court for corruption than any other administration”.
“Then again the records have to be put right that the draft of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) we wanted was a tougher EFCC than what the national assembly approved, they watered it , we wanted a tougher EFCC..
“When it was eventually approved I even went out of my way because there was no appropriation for the agency to borrow money from a government agency to enable EFCC function effectively pending when the national assembly will appropriate money for the agency. So no administration that has done as much as had done to fight corruption since the return of democracy in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, there are reports that Atiku would be returning to PDP on Saturday, November 25th. According to sources in his camp, his resignation is to position him well for the PDP convention which comes up on December 9th.
The former VP would first collect his membership card in his Jada 1 polling ward in Adamawa. Thousands of his supporters from the 21 local areas in the state have been mobilized to join him on Saturday.
”Twenty buses have been allocated to each local government area for the event; the buses will convey supporters to Yola,” one of his media aides told DailyTrust
Atiku is expected to return to the PDP, a party he helped to found in 1998 and on whose platform he was twice elected vice-president — in 1999 and 2003.
He has been seeking, albeit unsuccessfully, to be president since 2007, and is expected to give it one final shot in 2019.